Tom Sykes is refusing to blame Kawasaki's lack of competitiveness during the latest round of the World Superbike Championship on the team's decision not to test at Misano prior to the event there.

Kawasaki endured a difficult weekend around the Italian circuit as they played catch up to its rivals, the manufacturer having chosen to sit out a recent test there while five of its six manufacturer rivals attended.

As such, neither Tom Sykes nor Chris Vermeulen could progress far into the top fifteen throughout the weekend, the event ending with the pair picking up a single point each.

While Sykes acknowledges the team was always on the 'back foot' at Misano, he insists it isn't the sole reason for his failure to score better.

"We tried a big list of things on the bike this weekend but unfortunately we really struggled to get a good set-up in the high track temperatures. We also started on the back foot having not tested here like the majority of teams last week, but that's no excuse as we just had to try and get down to business.

"Unfortunately our qualifying position didn't help us a lot and it was difficult to play catch up in the races as Misano is a hard track to pass on. In race two I got away to a good start but got caught up in the first corner with a few riders and ended up at the back. My bike suffered on the front due to a clash with another rider but I fought back to 16th from last.

"It's been a tough weekend and we certainly have work to do but the boys and I will regroup for the test this week in Imola and hopefully get back to the sharp end."

Kawasaki will, however, be present for the annual test at Imola this week, the first time Vermeulen has been able to undertake any group testing during the season.

"It's been a challenging weekend and we were disappointed to have missed out on Superpole for the first time this year. We made small improvements over the weekend and took a different direction for race two which was a big improvement.

"I ran twelve seconds closer to the front than in race one and we went for a softer tyre on the rear which gave much better grip from the start. We still have a lot of work to do on making progress with the bike but I'm looking forward to the two-day test this week in Imola, my first test since the start of the season, so we can make further progress and be more competitive in the races."


Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register to add your comment